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When Alan Shatter lost his seat in the Irish parliament in 2002, after 21 years, some assumed his political career was over. But the feisty lawyer returned in 2007 and now, as the only Jewish member of the Irish government, he is Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence.
Last week he toured the Middle East – and was refreshingly candid in his interviews, not least with Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper. He told its readers that he has no truck with the fiction that there is a difference between Hizbollah's political and armed wings.
Wittingly or unwittingly, Mr Shatter has caused a row back in Dublin by trampling on the official line peddled by Ireland's Foreign Ministry. But all credit to him. Mr Shatter is a politician of rare honesty. Would that there were more of his ilk.